Category: Digital Marketing | 3 min read

It's 2019 now and looking back I have seen some major changes in the digital marketing landscape. There are plenty of articles out there talking about what has changed and even predicting what might come this year but I wanted to make a short list of things that aren't really being addressed.

It's fantastic to see that ad fraud is finally being seen as the massive problem it is and programmatic is really fixing a lot of issues with display advertising but there are things that I don't see anyone talking about:

Too many growth hacks

I've written about this one in depth but I still see it all over the place. It might just be that I read the wrong blogs or follow the wrong social media accounts but I keep getting inundated with stories that I MUST be doing some kind of new growth hack and then a week or two later a story about how that hack doesn't work any more. Not to mention the endless cycle of SEO's discovering some new thing to try only to get hit by a future Google update.

Stop it. Growth hacks are a treadmill and not a sustainable strategy. They will eat up your time and energy, which could be better used in sustainable growth.

Writing too much content

I'm sorry but even though I really like you guys, I have to blame the SEO world for this problem.

Long ago places like SEOMoz and other great SEO blogs wrote about the important of content: having a lot of high quality content will get you in Google's good graces. This is all well and good but combine that with the idea of the long tail (which no longer exists) you get companies forcing young writers to pump out tons of tons of mediocre to crap writing.

I should also point to the whole idea of blogging: making content date and time based rather than evergreen content based on a subject. This meant that consistency (making sure to post weekly or daily) became just as or even more important than the quality.

Notice how I haven't even mentioned the word usefulness here. Why? Because most companies don't think about it either.

Focus on the quality and usefulness of your content - not how much of it there is or when you posted last.

Trying too hard to be snarky

I get it. You see how well the big fast food chains are doing with their Twitter accounts and want to mirror that success.

Comedy changes constantly, it's also very hard to do. Your snarky remark may come off as rude or get you in a load of trouble, it also may not be the brand you are looking for.

Or worse, you'll forever show up on /R/Cringe.

Humour is not sustainable. There is no brand on earth that is based on humour that is still as relevant today as it was a decade ago.

Too much AI and ML

What? The dude who spends most of his time fighting to get more AI and ML into the marketing world is saying their is too much?

Uh... yeah.

I love AI and ML - it makes my job significantly easier, but it also has its downsides. One of which is that it has no empathy whatsoever. As I mentioned here, empathy is what gets you from 2% increases to 50% increases. By spending all your time figuring out how to implement AI on your landing pages you forget that the colour of the button that the script keeps changing is only going to have a tiny affect.

These tools can be amazing for personalization but don't forget the main goal: to show the right content to the right person at the right time. A machine can help a lot with this but it can also make a huge mess of things. Make sure to keep a human touch.

In the end

As always my main tips are to focus on sustainable growth, a powerful brand and to take your time. Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint and you are building something. Sure, the goal is the make as much margin as possible but you want that margin to be recurring and sustainable for years into the future.

Other Articles

The Email List

I send a single email once a month that covers digital marketing, strategy, life & more. I sometimes talk about systems I am trying, privacy, various apps I am using and other things you may find of interest.

Join the list